Browsing by Subject "boreal"

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  • Mäkelä, Jarmo (2020)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 160
    How significant are different uncertainty sources when simulating the future state of the ecosystem in Finland? In this thesis, we examine this question and provide some answers to this broad topic by simulating 21st century ecosystem conditions with a land-ecosystem model called JSBACH. The results are also compared to similar simulations performed by another model called PREBAS. We consider four different sources of uncertainty that are related to 1) the model that is used to generate the future conditions; 2) future climate used to drive the model, represented by an ensemble of CMIP5 simulations; 3) RCP scenarios that depict the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration and; 4) forest management actions. Before running the simulations described above, we calibrated and validated the JSBACH model extensively on different temporal resolutions and with multiple model modifications. These hindcasting calibrations were performed with two Bayesian approaches: the adaptive Metropolis algorithm and the adaptive population importance sampler. The calibrations resulted in a sufficient model setup and satisfactory parameter distributions. These were used to represent the JSBACH model uncertainty in the 21st century simulations. Canonical correlation analysis was used to gleam the impact of the different uncertainty sources on multiple groups of ecosystem variables. The results are summarised via the use of redundancy indices that yield varied impacts. Overall, forest management actions and RCP scenarios tend to dominate the uncertainties towards the end of the century, but the effect of climate models and parameters should not be overlooked especially since a more detailed examination revealed that their impact was not fully captured. *** Kuinka merkittäviä ovat eri epävarmuuslähteet arvioitaessa metsäekosysteemien tulevaisuutta Suomessa? Tässä väitöskirjassa tarkastellaan edeltävää kysymystä mallittamalla metsäekosysteemien tilaa 2100-luvulle. Mallitukseen käytetään maa-ekosysteemimalli JSBACH:ia ja arvioita verrataan vastaaviin PREBAS-mallin tuloksiin. Tarkasteltavat epävarmuuslähteet voidaan jakaa 1) mallien sisäiseen epävarmuuteen; 2) mallien ajamiseen käytettäviin ilmastopakotteisiin, jotka pohjaavat CMIP5 simulaatioihin; 3) RCP-päästöskenaarioihin, jotka edustavat ilmakehän hiilidioksidipitoisuuden nousua sekä; 4) valittuun metsänhoitosuunnitelmaan. Edellä esitettyjen tulevaisuussimulaatioiden toteuttamiseksi JSBACH-malli kalibroitiin ja validoitiin käyttäen 10 paikallista mittausasemaa boreaalisella vyöhykkeellä. Tarkasteluun sisällytettiin eri aikaresoluutioita ja useita mallin rakenteellisia muutoksia, jotta mallin tuottama transpiraatio, evaporaatio ja hiilensidonta vastaisivat paremmin vastaavia havaintoja. Kalibrointiin käytettiin kahta eri Bayesilaista menetelmää: adaptive Metropolis sekä adaptive population importance sampler -algoritmeja. Kalibrointiprosessissa ilmenneitä parametrien välisiä riippuvuuksia, identifioituvuutta ja merkitsevyyttä analysoitiin perusteellisesti. Lisäksi lopullisia parametrijakaumia ja -arvoja verrattiin useisiin kirjallisuuslähteisiin. Validointi toteutettiin sekä kalibroinnista riippumattomilla että erillisten mittausasemien havainnoilla. Näiden tarkastelujen pohjalta muodostettiin tulevaisuussimulaatioihin soveltuva mallirakenne ja parametrijakaumat, jotka kuvaavat JSBACH-mallin sisäistä epävarmuutta. Tulevaisuussimulaatioiden epävarmuuslähteiden vaikuttavuutta arvioitiin kanonisen korrelaatioanalyysin pohjalta. Metsäekosysteemien tilaa kuvaavia indikaattoreita tutkittiin em. analyysissa sekä kaikkia kerralla että jaoteltuna eri ryhmiin vaikuttavuutensa perusteella. Voimakkaimmaksi epävarmuuslähteeksi vuosisadan lopussa nousivat sekä metsänhoitosuunnitelmat että päästöskenaariot, joita seurasivat järjestyksessä ilmastopakotteet ja mallien sisäinen epävarmuus.
  • Abbott, Benjamin W.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Chapin, F. Stuart; Bowden, William B.; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Epstein, Howard E.; Flannigan, Michael D.; Harms, Tamara K.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Mack, Michelle C.; McGuire, A. David; Natali, Susan M.; Rocha, Adrian V.; Tank, Suzanne E.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Vonk, Jorien E.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Aiken, George R.; Alexander, Heather D.; Amon, Rainer M. W.; Benscoter, Brian W.; Bergeron, Yves; Bishop, Kevin; Blarquez, Olivier; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Breen, Amy L.; Buffam, Ishi; Cai, Yihua; Carcaillet, Christopher; Carey, Sean K.; Chen, Jing M.; Chen, Han Y. H.; Christensen, Torben R.; Cooper, Lee W.; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; de Groot, William J.; DeLuca, Thomas H.; Dorrepaal, Ellen; Fetcher, Ned; Finlay, Jacques C.; Forbes, Bruce C.; French, Nancy H. F.; Gauthier, Sylvie; Girardin, Martin P.; Goetz, Scott J.; Goldammer, Johann G.; Gough, Laura; Grogan, Paul; Guo, Laodong; Higuera, Philip E.; Hinzman, Larry; Hu, Feng Sheng; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Jandt, Randi; Johnstone, Jill F.; Karlsson, Jan; Kasischke, Eric S.; Kattner, Gerhard; Kelly, Ryan; Keuper, Frida; Kling, George W.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Kouki, Jari; Kuhry, Peter; Laudon, Hjalmar; Laurion, Isabelle; Macdonald, Robie W.; Mann, Paul J.; Martikainen, Pertti J.; McClelland, James W.; Molau, Ulf; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Olefeldt, David; Pare, David; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Payette, Serge; Peng, Changhui; Pokrovsky, Oleg S.; Rastetter, Edward B.; Raymond, Peter A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Rein, Guillermo; Reynolds, James F.; Robards, Martin; Rogers, Brendan M.; Schaedel, Christina; Schaefer, Kevin; Schmidt, Inger K.; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Sky, Jasper; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Starr, Gregory; Striegl, Robert G.; Teisserenc, Roman; Tranvik, Lars J.; Virtanen, Tarmo; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Zimov, Sergei (2016)
    As the permafrost region warms, its large organic carbon pool will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition, combustion, and hydrologic export. Models predict that some portion of this release will be offset by increased production of Arctic and boreal biomass; however, the lack of robust estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty in predicting future system response. In combination with previous findings, results suggest the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario but that 65%-85% of permafrost carbon release can still be avoided if human emissions are actively reduced.
  • Koivula, M.; Niemelä, J. (Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), 2002)
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Aalto, Juha; Heikkinen, Risto; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Kuusela, Saija; Leikola, Niko; Luoto, Miska (2020)
    Increased attention is being paid to the ecological drivers and conservation measures which could mitigate climate change-induced pressures for species survival, potentially helping populations to remain in their present-day locations longer. One important buffering mechanism against climate change may be provided by the heterogeneity in topography and consequent local climate conditions. However, the buffering capacity of this topoclimate has so far been insufficiently studied based on empirical survey data across multiple sites and species. Here, we studied whether the fine-grained air temperature variation of protected areas (PAs) affects the population changes of declining northern forest bird species. Importantly to our study, in PAs harmful land use, such as logging, is not allowed, enabling the detection of the effects of temperature buffering, even at relatively moderate levels of topographic variation. Our survey data from 129 PAs located in the boreal zone in Finland show that the density of northern forest species was higher in topographically heterogeneous PAs than in topographically more homogeneous PAs. Moreover, local temperature variation had a significant effect on the density change of northern forest birds from 1981-1999 to 2000-2017, indicating that change in bird density was generally smaller in PAs with higher topographic variation. Thus, we found a clear buffering effect stemming from the local temperature variation of PAs in the population trends of northern forest birds.
  • Hemmilä, Marja (2020)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 162
    Atmospheric aerosol particles are small, liquid or solid pieces that are floating in the air. They have a significant effect on air quality, human health and cloud formation. Sources of aerosols can be either primary or secondary, meaning that they can directly be emitted from the source to the air (e.g. sea salt, sand or pollen) or they can be formed from the precursor gases in the air. For example, sulphuric acid, ammonia, amines and oxidised organic vapours are gases that affect the nucleation process. Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases that are emitted by e.g. boreal forest, and they affect secondary organic aerosol (SOA) population by contributing to the production of oxidised organic vapours that participate in the formation and growth of secondary aerosol particles. In this thesis, thermal desorption inlet gas chromatograph coupled with mass spectrometer (TD-GC-MS) was used to determine how monoterpenes, which are one sub-group of the BVOCs, are emitted from Scots pine and Norway spruce trees. It was discovered that individual trees emit different amounts of various monoterpenes, even when the trees belong to the same species. We concluded that the emissions depend on the chemotype of the trees, which is an inherited property of the individual tree. Nitrogen containing gases, such as ammonia, amines and nitric acid can also take part in the aerosol formation and growth processes. Ammonia and amines stabilise sulphuric acid clusters, therefore helping the new aerosol particles to form. Another nitrogen contain gas, HONO, strongly affects atmospheric chemistry because it reacts with solar radiation and forms a OH• radical, which is one of the main radicals in the atmosphere. We measured the seasonal and diurnal variation of ammonia, nitric acid and HONO in the boreal forest with an instrument of Measuring AeRosols and Gases in Ambient air (MARGA), which is an online ion chromatograph with a sampling system. In this thesis, I developed a method for measuring aliphatic amines from the boreal forest air. I also coupled MARGA with a mass spectrometer (MARGA-MS) and used it to measure amine concentrations from the boreal forest air, observing the seasonal and diurnal variation of atmospheric amines. While I was measuring the atmospheric concentrations, the idea that amines could be emitted from the boreal forest floor and also melting snow and thawing ground, was born. To test this hypothesis, I measured with the MARGAMS connected to a dynamic flow through chamber emissions from the boreal forest floor. I found that the boreal forest floor is indeed a source of amines. *** Ilmakehän aerosolihiukkaset ovat pieniä, nestemäisiä tai kiinteitä hippusia, jotka leijuvat ilmassa. Niillä on merkittävä vaikutus ilmanlaatuun, terveyteen ja pilvien muodostumiseen. Aerosolien lähteitä on sekä primäärisiä että sekundäärisiä, mikä tarkoittaa sitä että ne voivat joko suoraan emittoitua lähteestä ilmaan (kuten merisuola, hiekka tai siitepöly), tai ne voivat muodostua suoraan ilmakehän kaasuista. Esimerkiksi rikkihappo, ammoniakki, amiinit ja hapettuneet orgaaniset höyryt ovat kaasuja, jotka voivat vaikuttaa nukleaatioprosessiin. Biogeeniset haihtuvat orgaaniset yhdisteet (BVOC) ovat kaasuja, jotka emittoituvat mm. pohjoisesta metsästä. Ne tuottavat hapettuneita orgaanisia höyryjä, jotka vaikuttavat sekundäärisien orgaanisien aerosolien muodostumiseen ja kasvuun. Tässä väitöskirjassa termodesorptio-kaasukromatografi-massaspektrometri-laitteistoa (TD-GC-MS) käytettiin määrittämään BVOCien alaluokkaan kuuluvien monoterpeenien haihtumista männyistä ja kuusista. Havaittiin, että yksittäiset puut emittoivat erimääriä erilaisia monoterpeeneitä, vaikka ne kuuluisivat samaan lajiin. Johtopäätöksenä oli, että emissiot riippuvat puun kemotyypistä, joka on yksittäisen puun peritty ominaisuus. Typpeä sisältävät kaasut kuten ammoniakki, amiinit ja typpihappo voivat myös ottaa osaa aerosolien muodostukseen ja kasvuun.Ammoniakki ja amiinit tasapainoittavat rikkihapporyppäitä auttaen aerosolihiukkasta syntymään. Eräs typpeä sisältävä kaasu, HONO, vaikuttaa vahvasti ilmakemiaan koska se reagoi auringon säteilyn kanssa tuottaen OH• radikaalin, joka on yksi tärkeimmistä radikaaleista ilmakehässä. Ammoniakin, typpihapon ja HONOn vuosi- ja vuorokausivaihtelua mitattiin pohjoisessa metsässä jatkuvatoimisella ionikromatografilla, joka myös ottaa näytteen itsenäisesti ilmasta (MARGA). Tässä väitöskirjassa kehitettiin menetelmä mittaamaan alifaattisia amiineita pohjoisesta metsäilmasta. MARGA yhdistettiin massaspektrometriin (MARGA-MS), ja sitä käytettiin määrittämään pohjoisen metsäilman amiinipitoisuuksia, havainnoiden amiinipitoisuuksien vuosi- ja vuorokausivaihtelu. Pitoisuuksia mitatessa syntyi ajatus metsämaan sekä sulavan lumen ja maan mahdollisuudesta olla amiinien lähde metsäilmassa. Hypoteesi testattiin liittämällä MARGA-MS dynaamiseen kammioon ja mittaamalla amiini- ja guanidiiniemissioita metsämaasta. Tulokseksi saatiin, että metsämaa tosiaan on amiinien lähde.
  • Finér, Leena; Lepistö, Ahti; Karlsson, Kristian; Räike, Antti; Härkönen, Laura; Huttunen, Markus; Joensuu, Samuli; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Mattsson, Tuija; Piirainen, Sirpa; Sallantaus, Tapani; Sarkkola, Sakari; Tattari, Sirkka; Ukonmaanaho, Liisa (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 762 (2021), 144098
    More reliable assessments of nutrient export to surface waters and the Baltic Sea are required to achieve good ecological status of all water bodies. Previous nutrient export estimates have recently been questioned since they did not include the long-term impacts of drainage for forestry. We made new estimates of the total nitrogen (N), total phosphorus (P) and total organic carbon (TOC) export from forests to surface waters at different spatial scales in Finland. This was done by formulating statistical equations between streamwater concentrations and climate, soil, forest management and runoff variables and spatial data on catchment characteristics. The equations were based on a large, long-term runoff and streamwater quality dataset, which was collected from 28 pristine and 61 managed boreal forest catchments located around Finland. We found that the concentrations increased with temperature sum (TS), i.e. from north to south. Nitrogen, P and TOC concentrations increased with the proportion of drained areas in the catchment; those of N and TOC also increased with the proportion of peatlands. In contrast, with the increasing concentrations of N and TOC with time, P concentrations showed a decreasing trend over the last few decades. According to our estimates, altogether 47,300 Mg of N, 1780 Mg of P and 1814 Gg of TOC is transported from forest areas to surface waters in Finland. Forest management contributes 17% of the N export, 35% of the P export and 12% of the TOC export. Our new forest management export estimates for N and P are more than two times higher than the old estimates used by the environment authorities. The differences may be explained by the long-term impact of forest drainage. The spatial results indicate that peatland forests are hotspots for N, P and TOC export, especially in the river basins draining to the Gulf of Bothnia.
  • Hakala, Kati P. (2020)
    Fungal disease late blight (Phytophthora infestans) causes considerable damage to potato crops worldwide. Fluazinam is a widely used pesticide employed against the late blight in potato cultivation. It ends up into soil during spraying and at the end of the growing season when potato foliage is incorporated into the soil. Nevertheless, there is very little literature about behaviour of fluazinam in soil, especially in the conditions that exist in Finland. Therefore, in the preparation of user guidelines, studies made elsewhere are used. From the environmental risks point of view, behaviour of fluazinam in Finnish conditions should be known better. Soils in the boreal zone are characterised by low pH and low temperatures that delay microbiological decomposition and they are typically high in organic matter and saturated by water for long periods in autumn, winter and spring. A prerequisite for assessing the environmental risk of fluazinam is knowledge of its sorption and desorption tendency as well as its degradation rate in boreal conditions. This information is needed, because more aggressive strains of Phytophthora infestans have spread to northern latitudes, increasing the need to use fungicides. In this study, a specific and repeatable high-performance liquid chromatography method utilizing a diode array detector was developed to determine the presence of fluazinam in soil. This method differs from most of the methods found in the literature, which used gas chromatography or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as an instrument for analysing fluazinam. The method consists of acetonitrile extraction, clean-up with solid-phase extraction and separation using a mobile phase consisting of 70% acetonitrile and 30% water (v v-1), including 0.02% acetic acid. The method was successfully applied to various laboratory experiments and to soil samples collected from potato fields in which fluazinam had been used. In the systematic experiments carried out in controlled conditions, performed with both the fluazinam standard and the commercial product Shirlan®, the effect of soil organic matter on the fluazinam degradation was tested, as well as the persistence of fluazinam in the boreal zone soils for a maximum of one year. The major outcomes of the laboratory experiments were that fluazinam degradation was enhanced by the presence of soil organic matter and even after one year of incubation, more than half of the added fluazinam was recovered. Additionally, soil samples were collected from intensively cultivated potato fields. Over half of these field samples contained varying concentrations of fluazinam, but no substantial accumulation of fluazinam was detected.
  • Wymore, Adam S.; Johnes, Penny J.; Bernal, Susana; Brookshire, E. N. Jack; Fazekas, Hannah M.; Helton, Ashley M.; Argerich, Alba; Barnes, Rebecca T.; Coble, Ashley A.; Dodds, Walter K.; Haq, Shahan; Johnson, Sherri L.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Kaushal, Sujay S.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; López-Lloreda, Carla; Rodríguez-Cardona, Bianca M.; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Sullivan, Pamela L.; Yates, Christopher A.; McDowell, William H. (American Geophysical Union, 2021)
    Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 35(8), e2021GB006953
    A comprehensive cross-biome assessment of major nitrogen (N) species that includes dissolved organic N (DON) is central to understanding interactions between inorganic nutrients and organic matter in running waters. Here, we synthesize stream water N chemistry across biomes and find that the composition of the dissolved N pool shifts from highly heterogeneous to primarily comprised of inorganic N, in tandem with dissolved organic matter (DOM) becoming more N-rich, in response to nutrient enrichment from human disturbances. We identify two critical thresholds of total dissolved N (TDN) concentrations where the proportions of organic and inorganic N shift. With low TDN concentrations (0–1.3 mg/L N), the dominant form of N is highly variable, and DON ranges from 0% to 100% of TDN. At TDN concentrations above 2.8 mg/L, inorganic N dominates the N pool and DON rarely exceeds 25% of TDN. This transition to inorganic N dominance coincides with a shift in the stoichiometry of the DOM pool, where DOM becomes progressively enriched in N and DON concentrations are less tightly associated with concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This shift in DOM stoichiometry (defined as DOC:DON ratios) suggests that fundamental changes in the biogeochemical cycles of C and N in freshwater ecosystems are occurring across the globe as human activity alters inorganic N and DOM sources and availability. Alterations to DOM stoichiometry are likely to have important implications for both the fate of DOM and its role as a source of N as it is transported downstream to the coastal ocean.
  • Kohonen, Ilmari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Global biodiversity continues to decline. Recent reports of decline in insect abundance and biomass are concerning, given the crucial roles insects play in multiple ecosystem processes, such as pollination, nutrient cycling and as a food resource for higher trophic levels. Based on the current state of the literature, it appears that total insect abundance and biomass are in decline, but there is considerable variation in trajectories in different regions and taxa. Many studies report on either aggregated community abundance or biomass, but few have examined how closely these two variables are correlated. For example, declining trends in large-bodied species could have disproportionately large effects on total biomass, even if total abundance remained stable. This, in turn, could have substantial consequences for predators dependent on insect biomass for food. Whether studying total abundance or biomass, long-term monitoring data are essential for robust estimation of temporal trends. In my thesis, I investigated trends in macro-moth abundance and biomass using data from the Finnish moth monitoring scheme (Nocturna) over a period of 24 years (1993-2016). My main objectives were to explore whether total abundance and biomass have changed over the timeframe examined, and to estimate the degree of correlation between the two variables in these data. As is typical for monitoring programs, only counts of moth individuals have been recorded. In order to obtain information on biomass, I created a predictive model for converting the recorded abundance counts to dry biomass based on species mean wingspan and body robustness. I weighed museum collection specimens of common moth species of variable sizes, and used these data for fitting the model. Additionally, I also investigated how local weather (thermal and precipitation) conditions during the growing season and winter relate to interannual variation in total abundance. Finally, I analysed potentially informative species traits (e.g., wingspan, voltinism, overwintering stage) in relation to population trends of individual species, because such associations could be underlying change in total abundance or biomass. There was no long-term change in total macro-moth abundance or biomass over the 24-year monitoring period. Abundance and biomass were very highly correlated (r > 0.9). In terms of interannual variation, total moth abundance and biomass showed a distinctive pattern suggestive of periodicity, with peaks at approximately 10-year intervals. Local weather conditions were very weakly associated with annual change rates of total abundance, leaving the interannual pattern unexplained. Lichen-feeding and multivoltinism (multiple generations per year) were positively related to population trends, supporting earlier findings. Especially relevant to potential trends in biomass, wingspan showed no relationship with positive or negative trends, which is in line with the high correlation between abundance and biomass in this dataset. My results imply that the total abundance and biomass trends in boreal Europe diverge from those commonly reported from temperate Europe. Further research is required to shed light on factors underlying total insect abundance and biomass trends. The method I developed for converting moth abundance to biomass is applicable to similar work elsewhere.
  • Sutela, Tapio; Vehanen, Teppo; Jounela, Pekka; Aroviita, Jukka (John Wiley & Sons, 2021)
    Ecology and Evolution 11 (15), 10457-10467
    Species–environment relationships were studied between the occurrence of 13 fish and lamprey species and 9 mainly map-based environmental variables of Finnish boreal small streams. A self-organizing map (SOM) analysis showed strong relationships between the fish species and environmental variables in a single model (explained variance 55.9%). Besides basic environmental variables such as altitude, catchment size, and mean temperature, land cover variables were also explored. A logistic regression analysis indicated that the occurrence probability of brown trout, Salmo trutta L., decreased with an increasing percentage of peatland ditch drainage in the upper catchment. Ninespine stickleback, Pungitius pungitius (L.), and three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus L., seemed to benefit from urban areas in the upper catchment. Discovered relationships between fish species occurrence and land-use attributes are encouraging for the development of fish-based bioassessment for small streams. The presented ordination of the fish species in the mean temperature gradient will help in predicting fish community responses to climate change.
  • Kotze, David Johan; Ghosh, Subhadip; Hui, Nan; Jumpponen, Ari; Lee, Benjamin P. Y-H; Lu, Changyi; Lum, Shawn; Pouyat, Richard; Szlavecz, Katalin; Wardle, David A.; Yesilonis, Ian; Zheng, Bangxiao; Setala, Heikki (2021)
    An increasingly urbanized world is one of the most prominent examples of global environmental change. Across the globe, urban parks are designed and managed in a similar way, resulting in visually pleasing expansions of lawn interspersed with individually planted trees of varying appearances and functional traits. These large urban greenspaces have the capacity to provide various ecosystem services, including those associated with soil physicochemical properties. Our aim was to explore whether soil properties in urban parks diverge underneath vegetation producing labile or recalcitrant litter, and whether the impact is affected by climatic zone (from a boreal to temperate to tropical city). We also compared these properties to those in (semi)natural forests outside the cities to assess the influence of urbanization on plant-trait effects. We showed that vegetation type affected percentage soil organic matter (OM), total carbon (C) and total nitrogen (N), but inconsistently across climatic zones. Plant-trait effects were particularly weak in old parks in the boreal and temperate zones, whereas in young parks in these zones, soils underneath the two tree types accumulated significantly more OM, C and N compared to lawns. Within climatic zones, anthropogenic drivers dominated natural ones, with consistently lower values of organic-matter-related soil properties under trees producing labile or recalcitrant litter in parks compared to forests. The dominating effect of urbanization is also reflected in its ability to homogenize soil properties in parks across the three cities, especially in lawn soils and soils under trees irrespective of functional trait. Our study demonstrates that soil functions that relate to carbon and nitrogen dynamics-even in old urban greenspaces where plant-soil interactions have a long history-clearly diverged from those in natural ecosystems, implying a long-lasting influence of anthropogenic drivers on soil ecosystem services.
  • Hällfors, Maria (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Vegetation maps and bioclimatic zone classifications communicate the vegetation of an area and are used to explain how the environment regulates the occurrence of plants on large scales. Many practises and methods for dividing the world's vegetation into smaller entities have been presented. Climatic parameters, floristic characteristics, or edaphic features have been relied upon as decisive factors, and plant species have been used as indicators for vegetation types or zones. Systems depicting vegetation patterns that mainly reflect climatic variation are termed 'bioclimatic' vegetation maps. Based on these it has been judged logical to deduce that plants moved between corresponding bioclimatic areas should thrive in the target location, whereas plants moved from a different zone should languish. This principle is routinely applied in forestry and horticulture but actual tests of the validity of bioclimatic maps in this sense seem scanty. In this study I tested the Finnish bioclimatic vegetation zone system (BZS). Relying on the plant collection of Helsinki University Botanic Garden's Kumpula collection, which according to the BZS is situated at the northern limit of the hemiboreal zone, I aimed to test how the plants' survival depends on their provenance. My expectation was that plants from the hemiboreal or southern boreal zones should do best in Kumpula, whereas plants from more southern and more northern zones should show progressively lower survival probabilities. I estimated probability of survival using collection database information of plant accessions of known wild origin grown in Kumpula since the mid 1990s, and logistic regression models. The total number of accessions I included in the analyses was 494. Because of problems with some accessions I chose to separately analyse a subset of the complete data, which included 379 accessions. I also analysed different growth forms separately in order to identify differences in probability of survival due to different life strategies. In most analyses accessions of temperate and hemiarctic origin showed lower survival probability than those originating from any of the boreal subzones, which among them exhibited rather evenly high probabilities. Exceptionally mild and wet winters during the study period may have killed off hemiarctic plants. Some winters may have been too harsh for temperate accessions. Trees behaved differently: they showed an almost steadily increasing survival probability from temperate to northern boreal origins. Various factors that could not be controlled for may have affected the results, some of which were difficult to interpret. This was the case in particular with herbs, for which the reliability of the analysis suffered because of difficulties in managing their curatorial data. In all, the results gave some support to the BZS, and especially its hierarchical zonation. However, I question the validity of the formulation of the hypothesis I tested since it may not be entirely justified by the BZS, which was designed for intercontinental comparison of vegetation zones, but not specifically for transcontinental provenance trials. I conclude that botanic gardens should pay due attention to information management and curational practices to ensure the widest possible applicability of their plant collections.